Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

and ingratitude, the disappointed when the inexperience or thoughtparent alone can tell the poiguancy lessness of boyhood can no longer of his heart-rending distress. It is be pleaded in extenuation of error. truly mortifying to have an un- | You know right from wrong, and faithful friend; but a rebellious you stand fully answerable before child must be an almost intolera- your Maker for every step of your ble curse.' It is with grateful satis- future progress through life. The faction I can say, my son, that you most sanguine wish your Father have hitherto been a blessing to feels, and the most fervent and me.

• frequent prayer he ever offers, The affection of some Parents is next to his own salvation, is that divided, and therefore, in some you may be a child of God, that measure weakened, by having a you may adorn the Christian chanumerous offspring, each claiming racter, and finally be a partaker of an equal portion of their regards. everlasting felicity. Is your own But as it seemed fit to an all-wise bosom animated with the same Providence to deprive both myself deșire, my son? Are these the oband you of your dear departed jects after which your highest ammother soon after your birth, all bition soars? Youthful ardour is my earthly wishes have centred in too often excited by far different you, and a considerable portion of stimulants. Your love of literary my temporal happiness has de pursuits, and the amiable principended upon you. I bless God ples which appear to regulate your that you have contributed vastly actions will, I have little doubt, more to my comfort than my sor- prevent you from raking after Tow; and your dutiful returns of pleasures in the sink of profligacy: love and reverence bave well re, and I believe you possess too much munerated me for my constant pride to suffer your morals to be attention to your welfare, and have corrupted by improper company mitigated the severity of the wound or bad example. But let me repeat which your excellent mother's what I have often told 'you, that death has inflicted. But while I neither your talents, your virtuous thus approve your conduct, do not principles, nor your pride will complacently imagine that I con- decide your future conditionsider you to be faultless. I þope These can weithor keep you from your own judgment and self. Hell, nor carry you to Heaven. knowledge will acquit me of enter- | They may make you respected by taining such an idea-for I should your acquaintances, and flattered indeed be sorry if I thought that by your relatives, but they can I knew you better than you know never make you comely in the sight yourself-I am conscious that the of your God. . partiality of a Father will too often Though I have sometimes pleasblind his eyes to the error of his ed myself with the idea that your children; but ever keeping in miud consistency of deportinent must that it is your duty as well as your proceed from the work of grace interest to search out those follies having commenced in your heart, and improper passions which pater- yet, as you have never been sufnal fondness or want of opportu- / ficiently ingenuous to declare even nity may have prevented me from a timid hope that you are the subdetecting : at the same time you ject of this change, I suspect that will bear with me, nay, you will you rank amongst a class of young feel grateful to me, if I point out men by no means small in the preand warn you of those which I sent day. There are many who, have discovered.

like yourself, having had the inesYou are now arrived at an age timable advantage of what is called

a religious education, and having | obvious inference, how little you seen the precepts of Christianity know already. The human heart is daily put in practice by their pious naturally steeled against religious parents, are become so habituated impressions, and the pride of into a regular and virtuous course of tellect covers it with an additional life, that yice is despoiled of its coat of mail. Men of brilliant allurements, and they are moral talents cannot but be conscious of characters almost by necessity. I their superiority to the generality would not drive you into daring of their fellow-creatures. When wickedness, by presumptuously they speak, they command atten. asserting that there will be no dif- tion, when they argue, they silence ference between your future state, their opponents. But alas! their and that of the most abandoned abilities too often serve them as a and degraded slave to sin, if you shield, to blunt the arrows of truth; live and die with no other character and as a sword, to wield against the than that which I have imagined soldiers of Christ. you to possess : but I am justified I am not apprehensive that you in declaring that the only difference will ever thus impiously oppose will consist in the degree of your the energies of your mind, either to condensation - and can you be the reformation of your own heart, satisfied with the reflection, that or the advancement of Christianity your hell may perhaps be less in- in the world--but I do fear that tolerable than that of an Infidel or the high opinion you seem to ina Deist ? What! would it afforddulge of your own attainments, will you an inducement to commit an present a considerable obstacle to offence which the laws of your your reception of divine truth. country punish by transportation, l You must form a low and a just because there are other crimes for estimate of yourself; you must look · which justice demands the life of with contempt upon all that you the perpetrator?' ' in now so fondly cherish, before you

Let me solicit you, at this im- can heartily seek the only true portant era of your life, to lay this "wisdom which cometh down from subject seriously to heart; and I above,” and which alone “is able must request you to read with to make you wise unto salvation." particular attention those two Ser. It is not my object to damp your mons of Dr. Watts's, entitled, “ A literary ardour, for this would be hopeful youth falling short of Hea- to reflect on myself for the liberal ven.” When you have perused education I baye given you, and

these admirable discourses, tell me the personal attention I have * how far you feel them to be appli- bestowed upon your improvement; cable to yourself,

but I wish to divest human learnYou are now, my dear George, ing of that importance which you just about to quit the seat of your attach to it. 'Talents are valuable classical attainments, to follow a l in proportion as they improve the i profession more laborious and less moral character of man, and sub.

interesting than that of a scholar. serve the cause of religion. They - You will find considerable diligence are often a useful and powerful

and application necessary, before auxiliary to genuine piety; they · you can make any proficiency in enable the Christian to expose the : this barren and forbidding study. specious sophistry, and counteract But I hope this difficulty will be the insinuating desigps of deism; the means of correcting your most or to defeat the bolder attempts of silly propensity literary pride. infidelity. .. When you perceive how much you Whilst you are culling the flowers have to learn, you will draw the which grow in the paths of science, or digging deep for the metal finery for solid sense, offering which lies hid in the mines of legal flowers for food, purchasing ap. learning, remember, my son, that plause with neau adulation, orde. unless you " walk in the way of parting at all from Scripture models, the Lord," and are possessed of shall so far “ become all things to the “ riches of his grace," neither all men," as to unite taste with an elegant taste nor extensive sin plicity, energy with'clearness, knowledge will avail you any thing grandeur with truth. Even among in a dying hour. Should you re- general hearers, there is such an main carelessly indifferent 'till that advancement of intellect, that what awful season, all your sensibilities would have once passed without will then be horribly poignant, all censure, will now be almost univer. my admonitions will then crowd sally considered as derogatory to upon your agonized soul, and you the ministerial office. will then believe that when I thus As we sometimes behold the addressed you, I had your best spirit of free enquiry (laudable in interests at heart. The limits of itself) pushed to a daring extreme, this Letter forbid my adding more inconsistent with due reverence for at present; I hope to resume the the book of God; we are fully subject shortly, 'till then believe sensible that such an evil can be me to be,

restrained and counteracted, only • Your fond and faithful Father, by a ministry of superior qualifica

G, W. A. | tions. Wbile the right of con

science, and of private judgment, To the Editor of the New Evangelical

are to be inflexibly maintained ; a Magazine,

strong barrier must be set up SIR,

against the ever-roving mind of As I have ever found you friendly man, Jest it should wander into the , and candid in giving place io short extraets from the writings of good men of airy regious 01.

fairy regions of fancy, or be drowned --various persuasions, I trust to your in gulphs of his own making. Even wonted liberality in giving the following truth herself is often obscured and just remarks further publicity--they are

degraded by superfluous ornament. taken from the “ Annual Report of the Rotherham Independent College," which

| Objections also against many parts bas just come to hand,

of divine revelation, demanding Hull, Your obliged friend, some reply, are, in our day often September 4, 1817.

1. T. | founded on modern science, traCONSIDER, for a moment, the vels, and discoveries, so that no religious character of the age in mind however strong by nature, which we have the happiness to can answer them without the aid live. Is it not also the æra of of learning., mental advancement, of spirited Your Committee are well aware, enquiry,--of critical exactness and that from various denominations of dexterity? There was an age when Christians, books of criticism bear(much to their honour), the lowest ing more or less on the Sacred ranks in society, labouring under Scriptures, are constantly issuing every disadvantage, made up from the press and attracting almost the aggregate of those who notice; rendering it highly necesdared to hear the glorious gospel.sary that some persons should be But, thanks be to God, we have particularly qualified to estimate now in our congregations, great their real character, and to decide numbers, whose habits, manners, whether they be useful auxiliaries and literary advantages, seem to of Christ, or the unsuspected germs require a ministry, which without of dangerous theories. We consioverlooking the humblestand der it highly desirable that the poorest of mankind, substituting ends proposed in such Institutions

as the Rotherham Independent many in Israel ;” and upon them College should be clearly defined it must depend, in a great meaand fully understood. We utterly sure, whether the temple of truth disclaim every thing that looks shall advance in glory, or the like making preachers, or forming edifice be dilapidated, and disministers out of mere literary cha- honoured. By our most fervent racters; our real aim being not to prayers, we commend them to the sa ake them, but to teach those care of Him, who not only can whom Christ has called to the work, make them pillars in his spiritual how, by the divine blessing upon house, but also keep them from their own diligence, they may be- falling, by enabling them rightly come able ministers of the New "' to behave themselves in the Testament, workmen that need not house of God, which is the church be ashamed. It is not to build re- of the living God.” ligion on the perishable basis of P. $. You may possibly be dislearning: but learning upon reli. posed also to give your readers gion--" on the foundation of the the admirable speech of the Rey. apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Robert Hall, A. M. at the Leiceshimself being the chief corner. ter Bible Society Meeting, printstone ;” nor do we ever profess to ed separately, and Sold by T. build at alt where this is not the Hamilton, and Button and Son, ground work. A minister with which would further oblige me.* nothing but his learning to recom

I. T. mend him, though he were a living

Encyclopædia, we should consider | ILLUSTRATION OF ROM. ix. 1-5. as likely to do more harm than

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, good. Our principles are, we my conscience also bearing me witness in trust, those of disinterested zeal the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviand benevolence. While rejoic-ness and continual sorrow in my heart.

| For I could wish that myself were acing in the amazing efforts made

cursed from Christ for my brethren, my to send “ the bread of life” into

kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are heathen lands, we cannot but feel Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adopdeeply concerned that our own

tion, and the glory, and the covenants,

and the giving of the law, and the service country, by enjoying it in greater

of God, and the promises; Whose are the abundance, and in upadulterated | fathers, and of whom as concerning the purity, may continue “chief among fesh Christ came, who is over all, God the nations."

blessed for ever. Amen." In the most affectionate manner The apostle being about to we would recommend to the young speak of the rejection of the Jews men, who are now enjoying its and of the calling of the Gentiles, valuable, numerous, and increas- and to answer some objections to ing privileges, a spirit of meek- the divine procedure in that mat. ness, docility, and gravity, of ter; and aware that this was a steadiness and integrity, of unre- subject exceedingly unpalatable to mitting diligence and spirituality, his countrymen who might be apt of simplicity and love; to guard to construe what he said as arisagainst the dangerous snares pecu-ing from pique or ill-will towards Jiar to their stations; to remember them-he introduces the subject the awful responsibility of their with a most solemn declaration of office, and to prepare for any dif- his concern and strong affection ficulties to which, as the soldiers for them. of Christ, they may be called to in Ver. 1. I say the truth in Christ, the field of their future warfare. I lie not:- that is, I speak the To them we look in years to come, *This we have done in a subsequent

for the fall and rising again of I part of this number,

[ocr errors]

fruth as a Christian, or as in the I had the prospect of deliverance, sight of Christ, who searcheth my and the joy set before bim. They heart --my conscience also bearing endeavour to qualify this harsh me witness in the Holy Ghost, i. e. sense by saying, that Paul only My own conscience also, under the wished to be accursed from Christ, influence of the Holy Spirit bear-“ if it were proper, or could be of ing me witness as to the truth and any avail to their salvation.” But sincerity of what I now declare, was it proper for bim, even on this viz.

supposition, to form such a wish ? Ver. 2. That I have great henvi- I think not. ness, and continual sorrow in my Again, were we to suppose, heart, viz. for the deplorable con- that the apostle, from his grief of dition of his unbelieving country- heart for his countrymen, and men. See his account of them, ardent desire of their salvation, 1 Thess. ii. 15.

expresses himself rather rashly Ver. 3. For I could wish that here, or beyond the real deliberate myself were accursed from Christ, wish of his lieart, how shall we for my brethren, &c. The word reconcile this with his solemn here rendered accursedis anathema, I declaration, ver. 1.? The utmost which the apostle uses in three theref re that we can suppose the other places in the severest sense, apostle to mean is this, That he sée 1 Cor. xvi. 22. Gal. i. 8, 9. was willing to endure the greatest which has led many to understand temporal suffering and even death him here as “ wishing to be sepa- itself, if it could be of any avail to rated from the love of Christ, to the salvation of his countrymen; be alienated from him, 'to fall which is similar to what he says, from the glory and the salvation Philip. ii. 17. My only objection purchased by him." . And they to this sense is, that I never find think it similar to Moses' prayer the sufferings of the apostles, nor when Israel sinned in the matter even their martyrdom expressed of the golden calf. “ Yet now, if by their being accursed from thou wilt, forgive their sin; and if Christ ; on the contrary, our Lord not, blot me, I pray thee, out of pronounces such blessed. the book which thou hast written." Others are of opinion, that this Exod. xxxii. 32. Which book is wish is expressive of Paul's state also termed “ the writing (or of mind before his conversion; register) of the house of Israel." that then, when he was breathing Ezek. xiii. 9. But it is not clear out slaughter against the church, that Moses' request extended be-/ such was his hatred of Christ, yond this present life, or his being that he was wishing to be accursed deprived of the peculiar blessings or separated from him, and to have promised to the nation of Israel, no part or interest in him; and which were in general of a worldly that his experience of such a state and typical nature. To suppose of mind, made him commiserate that Paul wished himself accursed his countrymen who still continued from Christ in the sense of being in the same aversion to Christ. for ever separated from him, and But I have two objections against so shut out from eternal blessed this gloss. 1. I cannot recollect ress, appears to me extremely any passage of Scripture where harsh, únnatural and unlawful. aversion to any object is expressed The love of Christ to guilty men by a wish to be accursed from it. far transcended that of Paul to -2. I cannot see how this sense his countrymen, but it did not go answers the apostle's purpose, this length. He submitted to which is to show his great concern become a curse for them; but he and affection for his brethren, his

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »